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Faith in Lodi and the region Mormons believes in straight marriage, don’t condemn gays

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Joseph Anderson, Lodi Stake president, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints


Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013 12:00 am

The gospel of Jesus Christ is based on love, respect and agency. Mormons believe that all humans have inherited strengths, weaknesses, challenges and blessings and are invited to live (through the help and grace of God) the principles revealed by Jesus Christ. We are to love one another. We are to treat each other with respect as brothers and sisters and fellow children of God, no matter how much we may differ from one another.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that same-sex attraction is a sensitive issue that requires kindness, compassion and understanding. The website strives to address, through interviews and videos from Church leaders and members, the issue of same-sex attraction as it relates to individuals and their family members.

Our doctrinal position is clear: Sexual activity should occur only between a man and a woman who are married. Jesus Christ, whom we follow, was clear in His condemnation of sexual immorality, yet His interest was always to lift the individual, never to tear down.

We firmly believe that all people are equally beloved children of God, and deserve to be treated with love and respect. Church apostle Elder Quentin L. Cook stated, "Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion and outreach to those who choose a different lifestyle as a result of their feelings about their own gender."

The LDS Church distinguishes between same-sex attraction and behavior. While feelings and inclinations toward the same sex are not inherently sinful, engaging in homosexual behavior is in conflict with the doctrinal principle, based on sacred scripture, that marriage between a man and a woman is essential to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

Because the church believes that the sacred powers of procreation are "to be exercised only between a man and a woman lawfully wedded as husband and wife ... any other sexual relations, including those between persons of the same gender, undermine the divinely created institution of the family." Accordingly, we favor measures that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Our affirmation of this neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility toward gays and lesbians. On the contrary, many church leaders have spoken clearly about the love and respect with which all people are to be treated.

The church has advocated for rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights as long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.

Even though the democratic process can be demanding and difficult, Latter-day Saints are profoundly grateful for, and respect, the ideals of a true democracy, including the judicial review by the United States Supreme Court.

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